Preview the Upgrades and Quick Build Cards of X-Wing Second Edition
“She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts, kid. I’ve made a lot of special modifications myself.”
–Han Solo, Star Wars: A New Hope
With X-Wing™ Second Edition, you can play out a new era of space battles in the Star Wars galaxy right on your tabletop. You might join up with the Rebel Alliance, locking the s-foils of your T-65 X-wing into attack position as you begin your assault. Or you could send a swarm of Imperial TIE fighters screaming into battle. Finally, if the squabbles of the Galactic Civil War mean little to you, you can always throw in your lot with the galaxy’s most notorious Scum and Villainy.
These factions bring their own ships and strategies to each battle, giving you the chance to take control of some of the most iconic starfighters in the galaxy. But X-Wing Second Edition is about more than just individual ships and pilots. The game also invites you to forge an entire squadron, outfitting your ships with anything from torpedoes to astromech droids.
Thus far, we’ve taken a look at the refined movement of the second edition, explored the changes to actions, and gotten a glimpse at combat. These are all integral aspects of gameplay, but they also vary greatly depending on the ships you choose to fly and the upgrade cards you choose to equip.
For veteran players, you can expand your squad building possibilities at launch with the wealth of upgrade cards included in each of the three Conversion Kits for the game! On the other hand, if you're new to the game, the six X-Wing Second Edition ship expansions releasing with the Core Set also contain upgrade cards that can be used to enhance your ships. Today, we begin discussing bringing your squadron together with a closer look at upgrade cards and Quick Build cards!
Outfitting Your Ships
Every X-Wing Second Edition ship is unique, with its own combination of attack power, maneuverability, hull strength, and shields. On top of these core characteristics, ships also distinguish themselves by the unique combination of upgrade cards they can equip. These cards represent the different ways you can customize your ships, granting them special abilities or alternative ways to attack.
There are many different types of upgrades, distinguished by the icon found on the left side of the card. In addition to their special abilities, ace pilots can be given Elite talents such as Outmaneuver to augment their existing skills. On top of their Elite upgrades, Force-sensitive pilots can also use Force upgrade cards to unlock new ways to use their Force charges. For example, with the aid of the Force, these pilots can exhibit Supernatural Reflexes to perform actions at just the right moment.
The vast majority of upgrade cards, however, come in the form of changes that can be made to your ships. For example, you could add a modification like Afterburners to your ship to give yourself an extra burst of speed. Or, you could load your ship with Cluster Missiles and give yourself the chance to launch two attacks in a row.
In X-Wing Second Edition, many upgrades have a number of charges that limit the number of times they can be used throughout a game. But some, like Lone Wolf, have a small arrow printed on their upgrade card. These cards recover a single charge at the end of each round, letting you continue to use them throughout a the game. Still, you must use your charges strategically during a round, picking the moments you’ll need them most.
Putting a Team Together
From the very beginning, X-Wing Second Edition gives you vast array of options for assembling your squadron of starfighters and soaring into battle. On top of the pilots and upgrades you'll get to choose from, the game also gives you two options for putting these pieces together. If you’re using the X-Wing squad builder on the web or on your mobile device, the squad builder tracks the upgrade slots available to your ships, as well as the point cost of both ship and upgrade cards. All you have to do is select the faction you wish to play and begin building your squadron!
But if you’d like to jump right into the action without worrying about squad points, X-Wing Second Edition offers you another option. The Quick Build cards included in the Core Set and every ship expansion give you a way to quickly assemble a squadron and get flying right away. Each of these cards provide pre-defined selections of pilots and upgrades, combined with a threat level that represents the approximate strength of that ship. For a normal game, players choose cards with a total of eight threat—though these Quick Build cards also make it easy for you to play a simple escalation variant, choosing ships with greater threat as your ships on the battlefield are destroyed!
Constructing our first X-Wing Second Edition squadron with Quick Build cards, we’ll use Luke Skywalker as the cornerstone of our squadron, supporting this powerful, Force-sensitive pilot with some wingmen from Red Squadron. Of course, this squadron could be made even more diverse by including a Y-wing—Quick Build cards for each ship come in that ship's corresponding expansion in X-Wing Second Edition!
With a total of six threat between them, Luke Skywalker and Jek Porkins account for three-quarters of this squadron’s total threat, but for good reason. Luke can easily modify his dice using the Force, and his high initiative value gives him a good chance of shooting first when ships begin to engage. He could even use a Force charge to exhibit Instinctive Aim and launch his Proton Torpedoes without a target lock. Even if he does use his Force charges during an attack, his ability ensures he’ll have at least one at the ready when enemy ships return fire. If any of these shots do land, Luke’s faithful astromech droid R2-D2 is ready to help him recover lost shields.
Despite lacking Force abilities, Jek Porkins can still hold his own in the midst of an intense battle. He tends to be a bit riskier, with his ability allowing him to remove stress tokens by simply rolling an attack die. This could lead to taking some damage, of course, but adding a Hull Upgrade and R5-D8 should keep him in the fight for a while. Porkins's ability to remove stress gives him the freedom to execute red maneuvers and use his Afterburners to Outmaneuver enemy ships, giving him an even better chance of landing attacks.
Finally, a Red Squadron Veteran fills the final two threat of our squadron. Although this pilot might not have the initiative or abilities of the other two pilots, they still have some tricks up their sleeve. This Red Squadron Veteran likes to go on the offensive, becoming a Predator and lining up precise shots. And even if they wade into the thick of the battle, the Red Squadron Veteran also has a measure of protection with their R5 Astromech repairing damage for them.
Enter the Fight
The Quick Build cards let you jump into the action of X-Wing Second Edition right away, giving you the opportunity to explore new pilots and upgrade cards, or easily play an escalation variant. Still, they only represent the beginning of the squad building possibilities that lie before you. You can take full control and create the squad that matches your strategy using the X-Wing squad builder app. Look for more details on the squad builder in a later preview, and join us next time for a preview of the T-65 X-Wing Expansion Pack!
Find the X-Wing Second Edition Core Set (SWZ01) and thirteen other expansions at your local retailer on September 13th! Pre-order your copies at your local retailer or online through our webstore today.